We are now just 11 days away from commitment day for 2021 top-three prospect Terrence Clarke, and by the looks of things, it’ll be a great day for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Last week, Kentucky picked up a total of seven predictions on 247Sports and Rivals.com for the 6-foot-7 guard, most notably from national recruiting analysts Andrew Slater, Jerry Meyer, Eric Bossi, and Corey Evans.
This morning, Evans wrote a mailbag post on Rivals, where he took it a step further by saying the expectation is that Clarke commits to Kentucky on September 14.
“Kentucky [lands Clarke],” he said. “The Wildcats and Boston College are the only two programs that have hosted Terrence Clarke that made his final list and seeing that he is choosing his college home on Sept. 14, unless anything happens unforeseen, UK could be ready to celebrate the commitment of one of the most gifted wings in the 2021 class.”
Evans also added that the expectation is the five-star guard will end up reclassifying to 2020.
“And while Clarke has a lot of work to complete if he wants to reclassify and enroll in the 2020 class, I believe the desire is there on both sides to have him on campus next year,” he said.
Outside of Clarke’s impending commitment to UK and likely reclassification to 2020, Evans wasn’t as optimistic on Kentucky’s upcoming recruiting class as others.
When asked about where the Wildcats will look next, the national analyst stood firm on his Jalen Green-to-Memphis prediction and added that he didn’t expect Cade Cunningham to end up in Lexington. To take it a step further, Evans said a Clarke reclassification could push prized target Josh Christopher elsewhere.
Instead, he said Kentucky fans should watch out for a potential reclassification from 2021 five-star guard Devin Askew.
“Who else might the Wildcats add to its cupboard? I don’t see it in the cards for Jalen Green or Cade Cunningham, and if Clarke were to enroll as a 2020 prospect, it could deter Josh Christopher from coming on board,” he said. “They do need a lead guard badly, which is why Devin Askew is a name that I would be monitoring. Just like Clarke, he is a member of the 2021 class that could reclassify later on and would be the ideal playmaking agent the Wildcats need.”
Looking at the frontcourt, however, things get a bit more foggy. Evans believes the Kentucky coaching staff could go a few different directions with it, but listed Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware as the top options at this point.
“In the frontcourt, there are no direct answers but Kentucky should land Isaiah Jackson and/or Lance Ware,” he said. “Cliff Omoruyi is another to keep tabs on, as is Dawson Garcia, Isaiah Todd and Greg Brown, though Jackson and Ware are the likeliest. Paolo Banchero could also opt for the 2020 class, too, if he gets the work done, as Duke, UK and Washington are the three to beat.”
Sources have told KSR that while Clarke has some major hurdles to clear before he could make a reclassification possible, there is newfound optimism within his camp that he can make it happen by next spring. As for Evans’ stance that Clarke reclassifying could push Christopher elsewhere, this scenario is something the Kentucky coaching staff has addressed with all parties involved and there is a strong belief that they would make it work, regardless of Jalen Green’s decision.
As for the frontcourt, Evans hit the nail on the head that no one is really certain what will happen there right now. Kentucky is feeling that out right now and figuring out who would fit in the best with their top guard targets, who might reclassify, weighing the option of going four-out, one-in next year with a dribble-drive offense, etc.
There is a lot of overseas talk with Isaiah Todd right now, but if he goes to college, I expect him to go to Kentucky. Makur Maker will be a serious target if he decides to go to college, but the expectation is that he plays professionally next year. There is still no public offer for Isaiah Jackson, but there is significant mutual interest on both sides, while Lance Ware is still rumored to be favoring the Wildcats, as well. With Kentucky expected to lose EJ Montgomery, Nick Richards, and Nate Sestina next offseason, the UK staff could sign as many as four frontcourt targets this year.